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History

1884

Karl Elsener I opens a knife cutler’s workshop in Ibach-Schwyz. His mother Victoria actively supports him in his endeavors.

1891

Karl Elsener I establishes the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers. As a result, he is able to deliver the first major supply of soldier’s knives to the Swiss Army.

1897

The original Swiss Officer’s and Sports Knife is patented.

1909

Following the death of his mother, Karl Elsener chooses her first name Victoria as the brand name and registers the emblem with the cross and shield as a trademark. Today it is registered as a trademark in over 120 countries.

1921

The invention of stainless steel is a highly significant development for the cutlery industry. “Inox” is the international term for stainless steel. The combination of the two words “Victoria” and “Inox” gives the name of the company and brand today – Victorinox.

1931

Carl Elsener II introduces automation. In 1931, the company Brown Boveri is commissioned to set up the world’s first all-electric hardening plant in Ibach. This means that all knives can be guaranteed to be of a consistent high quality.

1945

The Swiss Army Knife becomes known all over the world. U.S. soldiers stationed in Europe buy it in large quantities and it begins to be a popular souvenir to take home.

1950

After the death of his father, Carl Elsener III takes the company management into its third generation.

1979

Sole proprietorship “Messerfabrik Carl Elsener” is transformed into the family company “Victorinox AG.”

1984

The company doubles its manufacturing and office space. 810 employees generate sales of over 80 million Swiss francs.

1989

Under its Swiss Army brand, Victorinox enters the North American watch business with its then U.S. sales partner.

1992

Victorinox opens its first sales subsidiary in Japan. Others are added in subsequent years.

1992

Victorinox enters the international travel gear market with the American TRG Group in St. Louis as the licensee.

2000

The Victorinox Foundation is established. It holds 90% of the share capital of Victorinox AG. A further 10% is held by the not-for-profit Carl and Elise Elsener-Gut Foundation.

2001

Victorinox launches a clothing line in the U.S. and opens the first Victorinox store in New York’s Soho district, selling products from all five categories.

2005

Victorinox acquires the long-standing Swiss knife and watch manufacturer Wenger SA in Delémont and allows it to operate as an independent subsidiary.

2007

Carl Elsener IV takes over the running of the business from his father and further expands Victorinox as a global multi-product brand.

2007

Following the establishment of Victorinox Swiss Army Fragrance AG, the former Wenger perfume line is repositioned.

2008

Victorinox opens the first Flagship store in Europe at New Bond Street, London.

2013

Victorinox integrates the Wenger knife business into the Victorinox brand.

2013

Carl Elsener III dies on June 1, shortly before his 91st birthday.

2014

Victorinox acquires the travel gear business from previous licensee TRG Group and establishes the new business unit Victorinox Travel Gear AG.

2014

Victorinox is now managed by the fourth generation of the Elsener family. The company is celebrating its 130th anniversary.

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